Work-related musculo-skeletal pain causes 11 million working days to

be lost at an annual cost of more than £5bn, ergonomics adviser Workwise has said.

Workwise osteopath, Jill Farmer, said the massive increase in PC use was creating a health timebomb within the UK's workforce.

She said attention would be focused on the issue of work-related illness during European Health & Safety Week, which runs from October 16-22.

“The risks of working in factories, building sites, even on farms, are all fairly obvious, but surprisingly few are aware of the risks of working at a PC,” Farmer said.

“Back problems, eye strain, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and stress

all pose a significant long-term threat to industry.”

She said the Health & Safety Executive put the Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 in place to protect employees against unnecessary risks at their workstations.